CHIBA LOTTE MARINES
...Hiroyuki Kobayashi struggled in his start against the Eagles on Saturday. Kobayashi gave up 6 runs (all earned) on 8 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strike outs; he faced 27 batters and three 83 pitches.
Said Kobayashi, "Everything was down the plate. There was no movement on my pitches. I couldn't really make any adjustments."
...Weiyin Chen had a tough outing against the Softbank Hawks on Satuday, giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strike outs over 3 innings of work; he faced 15 batters and tossed 64 pitches.
...Shinobu Fukuhara has been pitching well as of late and should be a part of the starting rotation this year. On Saturday, Fukuhara tossed 5 solid innings while giving up 2 runs (all earned) on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strike outs; he faced 20 batters and threw 81 pitches.
...Takahiro Arai, along with Tomoaki Kanemoto and Akihiro Yano, will be joining the Ichi-gun roster on the 24th for the Softbank Hawks game at Yahoo Dome.
...26-year-old catcher Keisuke Kano was promoted to Ichi-gun and 23-year-old Shinji Komiyama was demoted to Ni-gun on Friday.
...Mamoru Kishida had a rough day against the Yakult Swallows on Saturday. He gave up 8 runs (all earned) on 11 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strike outs over 5 innings of work; he faced 27 batters and threw 105 pitches.
In the same game, Greg LaRocca started the game at second base, the first time he's played there since the 2006 season when he was with the Swallows.
Said LaRocca, "I'm not very fast so I'm a little worried. But I'll play where ever they want me to. ... If it's 2-3 times per week, I don't think it'll be that big of a problem."
RAKUTEN GOLDEN EAGLES
...Takeshi Yamasaki went 0-for-4 in his first exhibition game start this season.
The results of his four at bats: fly out to left, line out to third, foul out to catcher, pop out to short
...John Wasdin tossed 7 solid innings of 2-run ball against the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday. The 2 runs he gave up came on solo home runs by Seung-Yeop Lee in the second and Hidetoshi Tsuburaya in the 6th. It was the first time he surrendered any runs in his last 3 exhibition starts.
In the same game, Takumi Kuriyama went 3-for-3 with a home run. Kuriyama is now batting .429 with a .545 OBP this spring (which includes 9 walks in 11 games).
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit another home run (with 2 runners on base) on Saturday against the Chunichi Dragons, giving him 3 home runs in three straight starts; he also drove in 4 RBIs. Matsunaka now owns a spring .458 batting average.
Also in the same game, Nagisa Arakaki started for the Hawks and gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits, 4 walks, and 3 strike outs over 3 innings of work; he faced 18 batters and tossed 64 pitches. This was only Arakaki's second exhibition start (he also underwent surgery during the off-season on his right elbow).
...2008 First Round Draft Pick Shingo Tatsumi joined the Ichi-gun team for practice on Saturday. He was sent down to Ni-gun after his start on the 14th (5 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs), since there were no immediate plans to start him again. However, after he pitched 5 shut-out innings (?) on the 20th against Fukuoka Red Warblers (Shikoku-Kyushi Island League), the team decided to call him up again.
When asked when Tatsumi might pitch next, pitching coach Ikuo Takayama said, "Unknown. The rotation isn't really even set yet. And there's still a chance he makes the rotation."
...Jamie D'Antona continues to hit the ball hard. In a game against the Orix Buffaloes on Saturday, D'Antona went 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run, a walk, and 3 RBIs.
Aaron Guiel also seems to have found his stroke as he also hit a home run in the same game (back-to-back with D'Antona actually). Guiel: 3-for-4 with a strike out, a double, and a solo home run.
Also in the same game, infielder Ryosuke Morioka went 3-for-4 with a double, 2 triples, and 4 RBIs.
Morioka joined the team during tryouts this off-season (DFA'ed by the Chunichi Dragons).
YOKOHAMA BAY STARS
...Pitching against his old team, Ryan Glynn tossed 6 innings of 1-run, 8 hit ball (the 1 run came on a solo shot in the first). He also walked 1 and struck out 3.
...Shuichi Murata arrived in Japan on Saturday and was seen in a wheelchair.
Said Murata, "If I stayed back, I would have only gotten in the way. I was really down at first, but now I'm focused on getting better. ... It was a lot of fun. I can't say that it was a success, but I certainly do feel as though I did my best."
...Masafumi Togano is competing for a spot in the starting rotation. Unfortunately, his start on Saturday didn't go so well. Togano gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikes outs over 4.1 innings of work. He faced a total 20 batters and threw 69 pitches.
...Taishi Ohta recorded his first official professional hit (Eastern League Ni-gun) on Friday against Seibu. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game while batting in the 3 hole.
His first three at bats: ground out to third, strike out swinging, strike out swinging
...Some 44,000 fans were in attendance to watch the opening ceremony of the 81st Annual National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament at the recently remodeled Koshien Stadium on the 21st. 32 high school baseball teams from across Japan will compete over a stretch of 12 days.